Investigation has shown that the delay by police personnel to resume duties in Anambra State has affected the operations of some commercial banks in the state.
Some bank customers who spoke to THISDAY yesterday said they discovered that most of the banks were only rendering other services that didn’t include cash withdrawal because there was shortage of cash.
A bank customer of a popular commercial bank in Awka, Mr. Ejike Uzondu, said: “I came to withdraw N350,000, but the manager said I should cut down the amount to accommodate other customers, saying they didn’t have much cash.
“I was surprised when, after filling the teller, the bank staff wasted a lot of time before attending to me. She later took me to the bank manager, who started appealing to me that they had shortage of cash.
“He told me they had money, but cannot move it to the branch because police who usually escort their vans have not started operations. He said they cannot risk moving money from one location to another without security personnel because anything can happen.”
At another commercial bank on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway in Awka, a bank customer, who refused to disclose his name, lamented that he has been waiting for some time because the amount he needs will require clearance from the bank manager before he can be given the money.
It was gathered that in most cases, customers who were withdrawing large sums of money were made to wait for a long time, while customers coming to make deposits were attended to, just to get enough cash to pay customers.
A bank staff member, who spoke to THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, said: “It is not noticeable because banks are trying to cope with what they have to avoid making it too glaring, but since after the #EndSARS protest, security agents have not been providing services, and it is risky to move money without security.”
Meanwhile, in a statement made available to THISDAY in Awka recently by the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, and titled: ‘Commencement of a robust patrol for effective crime prevention in Anambra State’, he stated that police operations have started in earnest, and the officers would be deployed to crime-prone areas of the state.
He said: “Following threat analysis and intelligence gathering embarked upon by the Anambra State Police Command in order to stem the tide of crime in the state, the Command has commenced aggressive deployment of police operatives which also include aerial surveillance, patrols and traffic control.”